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UN and Africa: focus on prison conditions in Benin, drought in Ethiopia and Niger elections

UN and Africa: focus on prison conditions in Benin, drought in Ethiopia and Niger elections

Abandoned cells in the main prison in Gao, north of Bamako, Mali. File Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino
Abandoned cells in the main prison in Gao, north of Bamako, Mali. File Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Benin authorities urged to tackle "inhumane" prison conditions

Authorities in Benin have been urged to tackle what UN human rights experts are calling "inhumane" conditions, in one of the country's main prisons, Aborney. A delegation of experts has just returned from a visit to Benin where they inspected a number of detention centres without any prior warning. Now they're urging the government to tackle chronic overcrowding to alleviate the suffering of detainees and improve overall conditions. Victor Madrigal Borloz, the Head of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture who led the Benin delegation, has been speaking to Alpha Diallo.

Ethiopia battles worst drought in 30 years

More than 10 million people in Ethiopia are going hungry as the country faces its worst drought in three decades. The situation was brought on by the El Niño weather event which has caused crop failures and decimated livestock herds. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has devised a US$50 million plan to help farmers, pastoralists and households restore production. Sandra Ferrari spoke to Pierre Vau-thier, FAO's Surge Response Team Leader in Ethiopia, who is based in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Hopes high for "peaceful" elections in Niger

Hopes are high for a peaceful vote next month in Niger, thanks to a strong tradition of holding "non-violent, credible" elections. That's the assessment of Mohamed Ibn Chambas, head of the UN Office for West Africa (ONUWA). Niger's President, Maha-madou Issou-fou, is seeking a second consecutive term. His challengers include the former Speaker of the National Assembly, Hama Ama-dou, currently in jail for baby-trafficking charges. Tsigue Shiferaw asked Mr Ibn Chambas about the upcoming vote and his recent visit to the country.

Presenter: Matthew Wells
Production Assistant: Sandra Guy
Duration: 10’00″